1941 City of Los Angeles Brochure

This brochure dates from July, 1941, about the same time as the Famous Fleet of Streamliners brochure, and provides more detail on the two trains that provided every-third-day service between Chicago and Los Angeles. The brochure contains 14 color drawings of train interiors plus floor plans for a dozen of the cars that formed the train.

Click image to download a 11.9-MB PDF of this 32-page brochure.

The Famous Fleet brochure revealed that the City of Los Angeles trains each had 17 cars, but their configuration was a little different. One had eight more coach seats than the other; one had a few more roomettes; one had open sections while the other had enclosed sections that offered a bit more privacy.

The club car interiors shown in the brochure represent the “Hollywood” car with its circular windows of polarized glass.

This brochure ignored all these differences. Instead, it highlighted the different club cars: the “Hollywood” on one train and the “Little Nugget” on the other. The “Gay Nineties” Little Nugget car “is in direct contrast to the ultra-modern ‘Hollywood,'” says the brochure. However, the two color drawings of club cars interiors both represent the Hollywood car, leaving out the more intricate Little Nugget car. Perhaps the thrill of describing the latest “plastics and synthetics,” including Polaroid glass, Nylon, Saran, and Formica outweighed the need to show the “old fashioned” Little Nugget car.

The Little Nugget car is mentioned in the brochure but not pictured in a color drawing.

“A ‘Continental Dinner’ is served on the City of Los Angeles,” says the page on the dining car. “No word short of magnificent can adequately describe this chef’s-masterpiece.” However, a stamped-in statement notes that “The Continental Dinner has been discontinued and a Table d’Hote Dinner is served instead.”

This raises the question, “What is a ‘Continental Dinner’?” It obviously is more magnificent than a mere table d’Hôte dinner, which could be pretty magnificent. The only answer I can get on line suggests that a Continental Dinner has even more choices than a table d’Hôte meal.

Page 29 describes the registered nurse-stewardess, but another stamped in note says, “Because of the imminent shortage of nurses for Red Cross and similar purposes related to the National Defense, the stewardess service on all our trains has been discontinued.”

Though the trains had room for only about 100 coach passengers and 150 sleeping car passengers, the brochure makes the questionable marketing decision to present the coach accommodations first. When it does get around to describing the sleeping car accommodations, it presents the low-cost sections first, then works its way up to double bedrooms and never even mentions the more expensive compartments and drawing rooms. You would think they would want potential passengers to aspire to the more-expensive rooms.

Even more curiously, after describing the coaches, the next-most-important thing for the brochure to present is, apparently, the rest rooms for coach passengers. Most brochures discreetly put this near the end, but this brochure wanted to everyone to know about the “outlets for electric razors and curling irons” and “diffused lighting fixtures over the mirrors.”

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